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The company's platform technology is based on the discovery that eIF5A (Factor 5A), a gene that is highly conserved from plants to people, has the ability to regulate programmed cell death, also known as apoptosis, and cell survival by controlling the expression of pro-apoptotic and anti-apoptotic proteins.

In order to modulate apoptosis, based on recent discoveries in gene regulation Senesco has developed SNS01-T, which has two active components, a small inhibitory RNA (siRNA) and a DNA plasmid, that modulate Factor 5A and an inactive component, polyethylenimine, that serves to assemble the active molecules into nanoparticles to facilitate delivery to the target cells. The siRNA turns down production of the Factor 5A pro-survival protein and sensitizes the cancer cells to death stimuli while the DNA plasmid, selectively turns on the production of a stable Factor 5A protein with a single amino acid substitution, which actively triggers cancer cell death. Polyethylenimine is a polycationic carrier that protects the DNA plasmid/siRNA combination from degradation in the blood stream until it can reach the tumor cells and release its active ingredients.

Senesco has initiated a clinical program in multiple myeloma patients with its lead therapeutic candidate SNS01-T, which has been granted orphan drug status by the US FDA. Senesco is building its portfolio by investigating other potential eIF5A applications in cancer, inflammation and ischemia.

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